Warming Food and Drink for the Cold Winter

Warming Food and Drink for the Cold Winter, Bow Valley TCM Clinic in Canmore, AlbertaWhen I tell people that I eat congee in winter, their reply is simply this: “What is congee?” Congee, or Jook in korean, is simply porridge. Basically, a thick and nutritious soup made with rice and whatever meat, spices or veggies needed to help you build your immune system, get over a very bad cold or nourish a specific organ.

Because we’ve had a pretty cold winter here in Canmore, let’s take the first one, how to boost your immune system. Buy a whole cooked chicken and use the bones as broth that you simmer for a couple of hours, then add cooked rice and some veggies to your liking. Add pepper and other warming herbs and you’re done. After everything is mushy, it’s ready to serve.

Another dish that I really enjoy in cold winter time is a broth made from beef bone. Purchase the bones at the local grocery store and ask the butcher to cut them in three inch pieces. Simmer them for most of the day so the marrow will be all dissolved from the bones. Add spices to the liquid as well as green onions, astralagus and red dates. Once ready, eat with a bowl of rice. You’ll see. You will feel the warming properties of the ingredients going down your toes. That’s how warming it is.

Now for a nice warm drink. No, not scotch! Simmer some pieces of ginger in a pot filled with water. In another pot, simmer pieces of cinnamon. The ideal is those big pieces found in a Chinese grocery store, but the small cinnamon sticks will do as well. Once both have simmered for about thirty minutes, pour them together in a bigger pot, add brown sugar for the taste and enjoy! Here’s how it works: the ginger will warm your digestive system, and the cinnamon with promote the blood flow to the skin and to the extremities of your fingers and toes. Moreover, cinnamon is one of the top herbs for heart issues. That’s a winner for sure.